DAI—— A Decentralized Stablecoin Built by MakerDAO
- Dai is a decentralized stablecoin built by the MakerDAO platform, operating on the Ethereum blockchain.
- Users may deposit predetermined assets as collateral against which they may print the DAI token.
- Holders of the DAI tokens can earn the Dai Savings Rate (DSR) by locking them into a special smart contract, which is accessible through Oasis Save, a decentralized trading and lending platform built by MakerDAO.
- When users decide to return their printed DAI, they must also pay a stability fee based on interest accrued on the Vault.
DAI is an Ethereum-based stablecoin issued and managed by the Maker Protocol and the MakerDAO decentralized autonomous organization. The Dai stablecoin is a decentralized, unbiased, collateral-backed cryptocurrency soft-pegged to the US Dollar.
Dai is easy to generate, access, and use. Users generate Dai by depositing collateral assets into Maker Vaults within the Maker Protocol. This is how Dai is entered into circulation and how users gain access to liquidity. Others obtain Dai by buying it from brokers or exchanges, or simply by receiving it as a means of payment.
Once generated, bought, or received, Dai can be used in the same manner as any other cryptocurrency: it can be sent to others, used as payments for goods and services, and even held as savings through a feature of the Maker Protocol called the Dai Savings Rate (DSR).
Every Dai in circulation is directly backed by excess collateral, meaning that the value of the collateral is higher than the value of the Dai debt, and all Dai transactions are publicly viewable on the Ethereum blockchain.
The Maker Protocol
The Maker Protocol is one of the largest dapps on the Ethereum blockchain. Designed by a disparate group of contributors, including developers within the Maker Foundation, its outside partners, and other persons and entities, it is the first decentralized finance (DeFi) application to see significant adoption.
The Maker Protocol is managed by people around the world who hold its governance token, MKR. Through a system of scientific governance involving Executive Voting and Governance Polling, MKR holders govern the Protocol and the financial risks of Dai to ensure its stability, transparency, and efficiency. One MKR token locked in a voting contract equals one vote.
Know more about MKR
MakerDAO, was created in 2015 by Rune Christensen, an entrepreneur from Sealand, Denmark.
Christensen graduated from Copenhagen University with a degree in biochemistry and studied international business at the Copenhagen Business School. Prior to MakerDAO, he co-founded and managed the Try China international recruiting company.
DAO teams consist of individuals and service providers, who may be contracted through Maker Governance to provide specific services to MakerDAO. Members of DAO teams are independent market actors and are not employed by the Maker Foundation.
Examples of DAO team member roles are the Governance Facilitator, who supports the communication infrastructure and processes of governance, and Risk Team members, who support Maker Governance with financial risk research and draft proposals for onboarding new collateral and regulating existing collateral.
The Dai Savings Rate
The Dai Savings Rate (DSR) allows any Dai holder to earn savings automatically and natively by locking their Dai into the DSR contract in the Maker Protocol. It can be accessed via the Oasis Save portal or through various gateways into the Maker Protocol. Users aren’t required to deposit a minimum amount to earn the DSR, and they can withdraw any or all of their Dai from the DSR contract at any time.
The DSR is a global system parameter that determines the amount Dai holders earn on their savings over time. When the market price of Dai deviates from the Target Price due to changing market dynamics, MKR holders can mitigate the price instability by voting to modify the DSR accordingly:
- If the market price of Dai is above 1 USD, MKR holders can choose to gradually decrease the DSR, which will reduce demand and should reduce the market price of Dai toward the 1 USD Target Price.
- If the market price of Dai is below 1 USD, MKR holders can choose to gradually increase the DSR, which will stimulate demand and should increase the market price of Dai toward the 1 USD Target Price.
All accepted collateral assets can be leveraged to generate Dai in the Maker Protocol through smart contracts called Maker Vaults. Users can access the Maker Protocol and create Vaults through a number of different user interfaces (i.e., network access portals), including Oasis Borrow and various interfaces built by the community. Creating a Vault is not complicated, but generating Dai does create an obligation to repay the Dai, along with a Stability Fee, in order to withdraw the collateral leveraged and locked inside a Vault.
Vaults are inherently non-custodial: Users interact with Vaults and the Maker Protocol directly, and each user has complete and independent control over their deposited collateral as long the value of that collateral doesn’t fall below the required minimum level.